Text Options for the Visually Impaired Font Size: a- A+ Color: A A A Revert 
Close vision bar
Open vision bar
Handouts and information for Social Studies

Week 10 We will begin our discussion of World War I 

SS5H2 Describe U.S. involvement in World War I and post-World War I America. a. Explain how German attacks on U.S. shipping during the war in Europe (1914-1917) ultimately led the U.S. to join the fight against Germany; include the sinking of the Lusitania and concerns over safety of U.S. ships, U.S. contributions to the war, and the impact of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Mastery of this element requires students to explain the impact of each of the events listed in the element on the United States’ decision to enter World War I. Students must describe the United States’ contributions to the war, explain the effects of this aid, as well as indicate the impact of the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the war. Dates are provided for teacher reference and not for student memorization. When World War I or the Great War, began in 1914, the United States was not immediately involved. Students should understand that countries during this time were following policies of militarism, alliances, nationalism, and imperialism. The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a spark that brought about war. Teachers should briefly discuss the assassination and how alliances formed in Europe at the start of the war and how these alliances led to other countries’ becoming involved in the war. Though the United States was neutral, its neutrality did not prevent German U-boats or submarines from attacking American ships that approached their blockade of Britain’s shores. These attacks became a galvanizing force on public opinion in the United States on May 7, 1915, when a German U-boat sank the Lusitania, a passenger ship. Nearly 1200 people died, including over one hundred Americans. Image of newspaper in the public domain American attitudes about entering the war remained divided. Many feared the loss of life and immense destruction that would accompany American involvement. Others believed that the addition of American

troops and supplies would aid the allies to victory. Eventually, American officials, including President Woodrow Wilson, ended the United States stance of neutrality when German resumed unrestricted submarine warfare on American ships. On April 2, 1917, Wilson requested a declaration of war from Congress. The United States began to send troops to fight in Europe but it was apparent that this was going to be a difficult war. Revolution in Russia had created a new communist government, and the newly formed country, the Soviet Union, withdrew from fighting against Germany. As Germany continued to attack France, the addition of American troops and supplies helped prevent German success. This resulted in Germany’s defeat and a call for the war to end. Political leaders turned to diplomacy to end the war. The Armistice to end World War I went into effect on November 11, 1918, when soldiers on both sides left their trenches and celebrated. A cease fire went into effect until peace negotiations occurred in Versailles, France. Ultimately, a peace treaty known as the Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919, in which one part of Wilson’s Fourteen Points for securing peace was included. This marked the creation of a global peace keeping organization called the League of Nations. This precursor to the United Nations was created to provide countries with a means to settle disagreements through diplomacy rather than war. Unfortunately, the treaty did not create the lasting peace that Wilson envisioned. Germany was forced to accept blame for the war, pay reparations, and give up territories and overseas colonies. This created German resentment that would be a factor in the events that lead to World War II. Teachers should remind students that while we, today, can easily see how World War I (which contemporaries called The Great War) led directly to World War II, this was certainly not the case at the time. People then believed that such a conflict would never occur again, and it is difficult for us to comprehend that sense of relief.

Vocabulary: impact, destruction, isolationism, treaty, contributions, militarism, alliances, nationalism, imperialism, assassination, alliances, neutral, neutrality, submarine, allies, revolution, political, diplomacy, trenches, cease fire, negotiations, reparations

West Ward Expansion
SS5H3a. The student will describe how life changed in America at the turn of the century: Describe the role of the cattle trails in the late 19th century; include the Black Cowboys of Texas, the Great Western Cattle Trail, and the Chisholm Trail.

 EU – Movement/ Migration For this element, students need to understand the purpose of cattle trails in general, and be able to identify the importance of the specified people and trails. Cattle trails were very important to the growth of the Western territories and states. Huge cattle farms in Texas began to feed large numbers of people in the East and eventually in the West. Railroads made this possible, as cattle could be shipped fairly quickly over long distances. Following the disruptions of the Civil War, rapid population growth in the West led to the re-emergence of old trails and the development of new ones. For a much more in-depth look at the importance of the cattle trails, visit: http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/C/CA076.html.

The Black Cowboys of Texas have gained historical notoriety for their unique existence in the legacy of the American West. Some had been born enslaved, and others were the descendants of formerly enslaved people. In the “anything is possible” world that was the country’s western frontier, these cowboys were able to distinguish themselves by their hard work and expertise, regardless of the color of their skin. However, following the end of the open range, Black Cowboys faced the same racial discrimination as other African-Americans.

For more about the Black Cowboys of Texas, visit: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/arb01 or http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ranchhouse/pop_blackcowboy.html, which addresses specific cowboys.


Two specific cattle trails are enumerated in this standard. Note that the geography standard SS5G1b requires students to be able to locate the Chisholm Trail. The Great Western Cattle Trail {http://www.greatwesterncattletrail.com/index.html} existed both north and south of Dodge City, Kansas, and allowed ranchers to move large numbers of cattle to this railroad hub for transport further East. The Chisholm Trail {http://onthechisholmtrail.com/historians/} allowed cowboys to take cattle from the ranches of Texas to railroad hubs in Kansas. (Teachers may wish to know that the trail is named for Jesse Chisholm, of Cherokee ancestry, who blazed the trail in his wagon in 1866. He traveled through modern-day Oklahoma to his trading post near Wichita. Later, ranchers followed his trail with cattle.) There was little residential or commercial development along the Chisholm Trail, which allowed the cowboys to move cattle quickly. Over time, the incursion of the railroad into former rangelands made these trails less necessary, and they fell into disuse. However, during their heyday, these trails were essential parts of the development of the West, particularly in its agricultural use to feed the booming cities of the East. SS5H3a The Chisholm Trail was important to cowboys. How did this trail impact the cowboys’ lives?

A. It was the trail used by Indians as they were being forced to move farther west.

B. It stretched from Texas to Kansas, allowing cattle to move from one area to another. *

C. It was another name for the Underground Railroad, which helped runaway slaves escape from their masters.

D. It was a trail connecting the east coast to the west coast, so cattle could move from one side of the country to the other. 


SS5H3b. The student will describe how life changed in America at the turn of the century: Describe the impact on American life of the Wright brothers (flight), George Washington Carver (science), Alexander Graham Bell (communication), and Thomas Edison (electricity).

b. Describe the impact on American life of the Wright brothers (flight), George Washington Carver (science), Alexander Graham Bell (communication), and Thomas Edison (electricity). EU – Technological Innovation For this element, students should be able to describe the listed contribution for the individuals named, and also describe how that contribution changed life in turn of the 19th century America. As always, dates are given for teacher reference rather than student memorization. The Wright Brothers (Orville and Wilbur) went into business as bicycle salesmen in Ohio in the late 19th century. Like many scientifically minded people of their era, they were fascinated by the possibility of heavier than air machines that would allow humans to fly. In 1903, their glider survived a 12-second flight from the dunes at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Others were working simultaneously toward this achievement, and the Wright Brothers flight ignited a national passion for aviation. Within two decades, airplanes could fly distances previously impossible. For more about the Wright Brothers’ work with flight, visit: http://www.nps.gov/wrbr/index.htm.

Born into enslavement, George Washington Carver was eventually adopted by the people who had enslaved him. Carver worked to pay for his college education in art. Always inclined to study the living world, in college, he discovered a passion for science. He became a passionate advocate for science’s ability to help people improve their lives. Carver was invited to teach at the Tuskegee Institute in 1896 by Booker T. Washington, its founder, and began to do groundbreaking work on agricultural improvement. He identified hundreds, if not thousands, of uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes, and introduced modern soil science to farmers throughout the South. At the end of his life, he was working with the federal government to develop wartime (WWII) uses for agricultural products. For basic information, visit: http://www.nps.gov/gwca/index.htm.

 Although he preferred to be remembered for his work as a teacher of the deaf, history remembers Alexander Graham Bell for his invention of the telephone. While other sounds had been transmitted via wire following the invention of the telegraph, Bell was the first to create devices that could transmit and receive the sound of the human voice (1875). The following year, he created a device that could transmit actual words, and communication was forever changed. Bell’s device was immediately popular, and became so affordable over time that today nearly every American household contains at least one telephone. : http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/telephone/peopleevents/mabell.html.

Like Bell, Thomas Edison was a prolific inventor. He stated often that he wanted to create things that would improve the lives of ordinary people, and thus would be accessible to them. The electric light bulb (1879), perhaps his most enduring invention, certainly has become ubiquitous in American life. Edison’s tireless work to develop ideas into devices made him famous in his own time. He strove constantly not only to invent entirely new things, but also to improve other modern technology that was rapidly changing society.  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/edhtml/edhome.html. 

The Turn of the Century
SS5H3c. The student will describe how life changed in America at the turn of the century: Explain how William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt expanded America’s role in the world; include the Spanish-American War and the building of the Panama Canal.

SS5H3d. The student will describe how life changed in America at the turn of the century: Describe the reasons people emigrated to the United States, from where they emigrated, and where they settled.

For this element, students may be asked to identify general trends in immigration to America during the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th century. They may be asked to identify regions or lists of countries from which people emigrated for a given reason, or to identify general factors that caused the massive immigration of this time period. Most people emigrated for a combination of reasons (Push and Pull factors), and it is important for students to realize that no group came for a single reason. “Push factors” spurring immigration included issues of religious and political upheaval and persecution, often linked to economic instability. Similarly, people who left poverty-stricken farms in Europe were lured to America both for an abundance of (free) rich land for farming and the chance to become part of a society that allowed nearly anyone to succeed. These motives are often referred to as “Pull factors.” The reality of American life – particularly in crowded cities along the eastern seaboard – did not always meet these expectations, but immigrants continued to come. The first wave of European immigration consisted mostly of people from modern Great Britain, particularly Ireland, and Germany. Eventually, this stream slowed, and an increased number of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe arrived. While these immigrants massed on the east coast, Chinese immigrants traveled to California and the new western territories and states, drawn by economic opportunity stemming from the railroads and gold fields of the West. Many of these people would return home, but others stayed, creating Asian communities that still exist today. The last decades of the 19th century also saw increased immigration from Scandinavia. These settlers left the coast and went to farms and communities in the Midwest and Plains states.

A brief overview can be found here, along with a helpful graph: http://web.missouri.edu/~brente/immigr.htm.

For a chart regarding the countries of origin of immigrants to the US throughout the 20th Century, visit page 6 on the link below: https://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf



SS5H2 The student will analyze the effects of Reconstruction on American life.

a. Describe the purpose of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

This element asks students to describe the purpose of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, commonly known as the Civil War Amendments. As always, dates are given for teacher reference, and not as a requirement for student memorization. Focus on students synthesizing the amendments’ significance as a group as well as individually – particularly in the context of the time period in which they were ratified.

*13th Amendment: Ratified December 6, 1865 (but proposed by Congress on January 31, 1865 – before the war had ended). This amendment abolished slavery in the United States, and completed the work of the Emancipation Proclamation, which had eliminated slavery in the states/territories in rebellion. For more, visit: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=40.


*14th Amendment: Ratified July 9, 1868. This amendment extended and guaranteed the privileges of citizenship to all people born in the United States, or naturalized. Further, it contains provisions for due process of law and is generally considered the cornerstone of civil rights legislation. For more, visit: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/14thamendment.html.


*15th Amendment: Ratified February 3, 1870. This amendment guaranteed suffrage to African-American males. (Women, regardless of ethnicity or race, would not gain the right to vote for another 50 years with the 19th Amendment.) Seemingly the final step in the abolition movement, it took only a decade for many states and localities to disenfranchise African-Americans once again. For more, visit:


As a group, these amendments sought to establish formerly enslaved AfricanAmericans as citizens, with all the legal rights and privileges afforded to other citizens. Unfortunately, there were many who still felt that formerly enslaved people (and, in fact, all African-Americans) did not deserve these privileges based upon the color of their skin. The end of Federal Reconstruction would mean that many African-Americans did not receive the rights promised them by these amendments, and it would take the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-20th century for these rights to be restored. 

b. Explain the work of the Freedmen’s Bureau.

The Freedmen’s Bureau was established in 1865 largely as a relief effort, as many formerly enslaved people found themselves with no homes, food, or means of support following the war’s end and emancipation. Through 1872, the Bureau provided basic needs (food, clothing, shelter, even land) to people; established schools and hospitals; worked to reunite families separated by the horrors of slavery and war; handled legal disputes; and ensured the compensation of people who had served in the armed forces during the war. Unfortunately, politicians were slow to respond to the needs of the newly emancipated citizens, and the Bureau struggled to complete its work. It also faced extensive opposition from many Southern Whites who did not want to see formerly enslaved people receive equal opportunity as citizens. For a general overview of the Bureau, visit: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_events_freed.html. There are extensive records relating to the work of the Bureau. For more information, visit:


c. Explain how slavery was replaced by sharecropping and how African- Americans were prevented from exercising their newly won rights; include a discussion of Jim Crow laws and customs. 

For this element, students need to understand that even though slavery was abolished in 1865 by the 13th Amendment, day-to-day life remained difficult for many formerly enslaved people. Further, students need to know that racism was still widespread throughout the country. In some places, Jim Crow laws and customs made it impossible for African-Americans to exercise the rights they had gained as citizens. When the Civil War ended, and all slaves were emancipated, most formerly enslaved people had no source of income. In addition, the war’s destruction led to many plantations and smaller farms being destroyed almost to the point of uselessness. Issues of land ownership also plagued the South. Once large farms began to be re-established, landowners needed labor to rebuild the Southern economy. With a large pool of unemployed laborers, a new system, known as sharecropping, was born. In this system, laborers were given land to farm. However, they had to return a large portion of the crops they grew to the landowner in exchange for “renting” the land. In addition, few sharecroppers had the funds to buy seed, equipment, etc., and ended up in tremendous amounts of debt to the landowner who provided these things. Further, the landowners often controlled the sharecroppers’ access to food, clothing, housing, and other necessities. In lieu of payment for these items, landowners often accepted credit. Unfortunately, the small amount of money earned by the sharecroppers was never enough to cover all these costs, and they ended up trapped in a cycle of unending debt. This system lasted well into the 20th century, as children born into this social structure very rarely escaped it. (Note:  Students should understand that not all sharecroppers were African-American.)

In addition to the hardships of sharecropping, after Reconstruction, African Americans were subjected to Jim Crow laws. The laws enacted by local and state laws in the South, enforced segregation, limited employment opportunities, and created obstacles to voting such as poll taxes and literacy tests.

SS5H2c After the Civil War, many freed slaves became sharecroppers. Which of the following statements describes sharecropping?

A. Sharecroppers had to give farm owners part of their crop for using the land. *

B. Sharecroppers had to own the land they farmed.

C. Sharecroppers had little money so they had to buy small plots of land.

D. Sharecroppers had to share their crops with other sharecroppers.

Week Two, Three, and Four

http://Gettysburg Address

http://Atlanta Campaign

http://Sherman's March Ducksters



Social Studies
SS5H1 The student will explain the causes, major events, and consequences of the Civil War.

a.Identify Uncle Tom’s Cabin and John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry and explain how each of these events was related to the Civil War.

b.Discuss how the issues of states’ rights and slavery increased tensions between the North and South.
c.Identify major battles and campaigns: Fort Sumter, Gettysburg, the Atlanta Campaign, Sherman’s March to the Sea, and Appomattox Court House.
d. Describe the roles of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Jefferson Davis, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
e. Describe the effects of war on the North and South.


Contact Us
Polk School District 612 South College St.
Cedartown, GA 30125
View Map & Directions
Phone: 770-748-3821
Fax: 770-748-5131
Google-Translate-Chinese (Simplified) BETA Google-Translate-English to French Google-Translate-English to German Google-Translate-English to Italian Google-Translate-English to Japanese BETA Google-Translate-English to Korean BETA Google-Translate-English to Russian BETA Google-Translate-English to Spanish Google-Translate-English to Tagalog Google-Translate-English to Portuguese Google-Translate-English to Vietnamese